US Supreme Court to Hear Case involving German Jewish Art Dealers Whose Ancestors Forced to Sell religious Art to Nazis; French Court Rules Painting Looted During Holocaust Belongs to Jewish Collector #holocaust #france #germany #hungary #usa

Jan Meisels Allen




On July 2 the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case during the 2020-2021 session regarding descendants of a group of Jewish art dealers from Germany who say their ancestors were forced to sell a collection of religious art to the Nazi Government in 1935.  The justices will decide whether the dispute involving foreign citizens suing a foreign government belongs in US courts.  A lower court allowed the case to go forward, but Germany asked the US Supreme Court to weigh in.


The justices also took a case involving Hungarian nationals suing Hungary over property taken from them during World War II.


The German case stems from 1935, when Nazi leader Hermann Göring allegedly forced a consortium of Jewish art dealers in Frankfurt to sell a trove of Prussian religious artifacts for a fraction of its value. Most of the art dealers fled Germany; one who remained soon died. In November 1935, Göring presented the collection, known as the Welfenschatz or Guelph Treasure, to Hitler as a gift. Heirs of the art dealers, including several U.S. citizens, sued to recover the property, currently held by a museum in Berlin.


According to a story in the Wall Street Journal,” The heirs applied for restitution in Germany, but a panel set up to review such claims said it found no evidence the sale was forced. “The lack of demand and the lower purchase price in comparison with earlier estimates can be attributed to the world economic crisis and not to the repression of Jewish art dealers by the National Socialist government,” the panel said. The heirs then filed suit in federal court. “The Nazis viewed the Welfenschatz as an Aryan treasure, and they were disgusted that it was held by Jews,” the plaintiffs’ brief says.


Generally, foreign governments can’t be sued in US courts but Congress has made several exceptions including for state sponsors of terrorism and acts of expropriation that violate international law.  Germany argues that international law doesn’t prohibit foreign governments from expropriating property of their own nationals. Since the Jewish victims lived in Germany—although Jews were stripped of German citizenship by the 1935 Nuremberg laws—it argues that it cannot be sued in the U.S.


In the Hungarian suit, 14 Hungarian Jews who survived the Holocaust, including four who now are American citizens, sued Hungary and its state-owned railway, MAV, to recover property confiscated from Jews who were shipped to death camps.  US Judge Patricia Millett said,  “In 1944 alone, a concentrated   campaign by the Hungarian government marched nearly half a million Jews into Hungarian railroad stations, stripped them of all their personal property and possessions, forced them onto trains, and transported them to death camps like Auschwitz, where 90% of them were murdered upon arrival,.”


To read more see:


The Wall Street Journal is a subscription newspaper. Other news media have also reported on the case but not with the same detail. If you are not able to access the Wall Street Journal try:


     The 1887 painting “La Cueillette des Pois” (“Picking Peas”) by Camille Pissarro. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.



In the French case a French appeals  court ruled a painting looted during the Holocaust belongs to a Jewish collector and should be returned to the family of the collector, Simon Bauer.  The 1887 painting called La Cueillette des Pois (“Picking Peas”) by Camille Pissarro that was looted from a Jewish collector during World War II and the Holocaust.


During World War ll the Vichy Regime collaborated with the Nazis and stole 93 paintings from Bauer. Some paintings  but not all were returned to Bauer not including La Cueillette des Pois.


The two Americans who purchased the painting claimed they did not know the painting was stolen when they bought it in New York for $800,000 in 1995. The Tolls, who purchased the painting, is the chairman of the holding company which own the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News newspapers.

To read more see:

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Need help to locate family in Mukachevo-Munkacs #ukraine


I am trying to get some information on Abraham Friedman he lived in Mukachevo and died there in 1983 He is buried in the new Jewish cemetery 
how can I find more info on him?
i would like to find out if he had kids?
Thanks in Advance.
Toivy Kahan

Looking for descendants of Mordke And Sarah Weiss from Lodz or Klwow Poland #poland

stephen cohen

A branch of my kolatnik family from Lodz and Klwow, Poland came to NYC in 1910. Two siblings Sarah Kolatnik (born 1890) and Lejbus Kolatnik (born 1894).

Sarah Kolatnik married Mordke Weiss in Klwow, Poland in 1910. According to their ship manifest in 1910 to NYC they from left Brzeziny Poland and were going to 88 E 3rd St in Manhattan to stay with a cousin, Nathan Weiss. Two weeks later Lejbus Kolatnik came to NYC and was going to stay with his brother in law Mordke Weiss at the same address 88 E 3 rd St.

Any thoughts on how to trace this family in the US. Having difficulty finding them in census records. Difficulty is that Lejbus Kolatnik likely changed his name to something like Louis or leonard or Larry Cohen. (Other branches of my Kolatnik family changed the surname to Cohen) and not sure what name Mordke Weiss would have gone by in NYC as well. Maybe Morris or max?

Stephen Cohen

parents as "cousins" on #dna

Alexander Press

Hello all. Has anyone else had the experience of finding their parents identified as "cousins" on Mine are on the threshold between 4th-6th and 5th-8th at 20 cm shared over 5 segments. The shared matches cover multiple branches of their families. Perhaps if you take any two people of Eastern European Jewish ancestry there is a non-trivial likelihood that they will show up as "cousins." On the other hand, I have found that in every case of a documentable third cousin or third cousin once removed, Ancestry correctly identifies the relationship if it does not understate it.

How to obtain documents in France? #france

Ilya Zeldes

Searching on Filae site, I found some information about Pepa Lokacher. The information shows that Pepa participated in the Resistance and show the file number (see below). The link repeats the file number, but no more info.
How to obtain the documents in this file?


Service Facts: Services rendered for resistance, Betw. 1940 and 1945

Birth: The 10th of March 1895, at Russie (Russie)

Other information

Document number:  Service historique de la Défense, Vincennes GR 16 P 375394
URL of the document:


This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #belarus #yizkorbooks

Bruce Drake

Two very different things loomed large in Zalman Wendroff’s memories of growing up — his hard-to-approach but awe-inspiring mother and the centrality of the family’s large samovar. (Wendroff went on to become a well-known Yiddish writer).

In “On the Threshold of Life,” a chapter from the Yizkor book of Slutsk (Belarus), he recalls being told how proud his father was on the day of his circumcision “but my mother did not demonstrate much joy. She knew – another child, another worry on her head.” His mother, who almost single-handedly ran a soap factory, was a “stately woman, proud, authoritative, always calm and controlled” who, when she did not like something, tersely pronounced “This is not good.”

“I loved my father very much, but did not fear him in the least,” Wendroff writes. “My love for my mother was more like awe of G–d, mixed with real fear. This G–d–fearing sense was like a stone wall between us…”

As for the samovar, it “was ‘large’ not only in size, but in the role it played in the house.” The large samovar was only used on festive nights and on Shabbath. The Shabbath nights “re the only evenings when Wendroff’s mother feels that she is still alive on this earth.” Worried about money, she saw the Friday night large samovar as “one of the means of maintaining the reputation of an ‘open house’” at which neighbors, acquaintances, important people, scholars, and maskilim [“enlightened” people”] could gather together.


Bruce Drake

Silver Spring MD

Re: Florence MARMOR burial records of the New York Mokkom Sholom, Bayside and Acacia cemeteries #usa


Yes thank you! I was in contact with Florence many years ago when Bayside was being “cleaned up” by a Mormon group during the litigation. My great-Uncle was buried there & is on the list (Isak Blumenthal age 1yr 10m. As far as I know they never found his grave or bones (I was in touch w/the man working on the area he was buried in). But he was a baby so...On the spreadsheet there are some ?? under cause of death as they listed several. He died of TB. The rest were just a result of the TB. His mother -listed on the spreadsheet as Emilie/Mollie Gryngras died 6 yrs later as she also had TB. She died soon after giving birth to another child who miraculously survived until her late 90’s. And she also had TB. I would not be here if that had not happened as my great grandmother Rebecca Schoenberg was sent for from Kuz’myn Ukraine to marry David Blumenthal & take care of his children & she would have 4 more girls including my grandmother Mollie (named after his 1st wife). Strange world. So thank you & thank you Florence (I know she is gone) for your amazing work. I’m glad that things are a bit better at Bayside. 

Does anyone know any survivors from Krinki/krinik #poland


Survivors from Krinki/Krynki, Poland near Lithuanian border c. 1914?

Belchatow Poland Book of Residents Additions on JRI-Poland #poland #announcements


When JRI-Poland added the Belchatow Book of Residents to the database over 13 years ago, we were limited to adding people that were born in the 19th Century.   Now that the Polish State Archives had made all of the images live, we were able to add all of the Jewish residents born in the 20th Century births and link all the entries!  Let me say that again.  ALL of the entries are linked to the scanned images from the Belchatow Book of Residents and are live on the JRI-Poland database -

Book of Residents are known in Polish as Księgi/Spis Ludności and in Congress Poland each community was required to maintain an ongoing census-like record of all legal residents of the community. The information was recorded in huge volumes and organized by house number.  More information can be found on Book of Residents at    Not all town Book of Residents survived but Belchatowers are happy that their town did.

Belchatow is located 26 miles south of Lodz and 13 miles west of Piotrkow Trybunalski and by 1939, fifty percent of the population was Jewish.

Many thanks go to Andrzej Selerowicz who lovingly worked on this project for his birth town.  The JRI-Poland would also like to thank Roni Seibel Liebowitz,  the original Belchatow leader, who worked on many projects to remember her ancestral town. 

Hadassah Lipsius

Dickler family genealogy #bessarabia


Dear All,

We are researching the Dickler family who emigrated from Otaci/Ataky and Mohyliv-Podilsky to the USA, Brazil and Argentina in the early 20th century. We have already developed a tree until our last known ancestor, Meer Dickler, who was born in about 1790, but there are still some branchs to be developed.

Please, write me if you can collaborate or want more information.


Best regards,


Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania

Jeremy Lichtman

I've heard some similar stories in my family as well, but wanted to add that there were other reasons as well why siblings might have wound up with different surnames.

Surname adoption in Eastern Europe tended to happen between 1808 and 1826 (i.e. after the Napoleonic Wars), and generally speaking people didn't have surnames prior. There were various taxation policies around that time that may have made it advantageous for two siblings living in separate homes to adopt different names. I don't recall my source for this, or the details, unfortunately. Might have been an article on Avotaynu.

Which website has records of money transfer requests from Russian/Ukranian jews to American relatives? #poland #general #russia

N. Summers

For the life of me, I cannot remember which organization arranged money transfers to Eastern Europe from Americans. I know that my relatives (the Finkelsteins) asked for funds to come to the US from their cousin Abraham Sukoenig/Koenig in 1919 or 1920,  and I have seen a record of the request, but I can't find it on my computer or on the internet. Could someone please save me from myself and remind me which organization this was?

many thanks

Nancy Summers

Maryland, USA


FINKELSTEIN, BOOKSTEIN, KOENIG/SUKOENIG, LUSMAN, GOLDINER, SAGORODER/ZAGORODER (Radziwillow, Belarus/Ukraine; Ostrog, Poland/Belarus; Warsaw, Poland; Wolinsky, Russia/Ukraine)

LISS/ALPER  (Motol, Russia/Belarus)

LEAF/LIFSCHITZ ( Rechitsa, Belarus)

A question about tattoos and Auschwitz #general #holocaust

Simon Kreindler

An aunt and uncle briefly lived with us after World War II. Each had a number tattooed on their forearm. From what I have learned the only place that tattooed prisoners in World War II was Auschwitz but I have been unable to find either of their names in the Arolsen database.
Has anyone else encountered this?

Simon Kreindler

Re: Warsaw pre-1939 districts: Orla str. and Kr #holocaust #warsaw

Logan Kleinwaks

Warsaw directories of various types from 1784 to 1965 are full-text searchable at Warsaw is also part of many directories with coverage of all of Poland or other large geographic areas. You can see the list of Warsaw-specific directories included in the search at (scroll up a bit to see all-Poland coverage). By searching, you might discover other addresses where Adolf Tarnower lived or worked, but it's unlikely you will discover his sister's name in these sources, unless she was a co-owner of real estate.

Some Warsaw Jewish birth records for 1915 apparently survive, but I am not aware of any being online. See the inventory from the State Archives on szukajwarchiwach.

Logan Kleinwaks
near Washington, D.C.

Re: Ellis Island looking for Rebecca Braunstein or Ritzer #general

Barbara Mannlein <bsmannlein@...>

Have you looked for her as Rifke/Rivke? I doubt she entered the US as Rebecca.

Barbara Mannlein
Tucson, AZ

On Jul 3, 2020, at 12:56 AM, Ilan Leibowitz <maya@...> wrote:

Have found my Grandfather's Israel Feld entry into America 1905-1906.. Havent found my grandmothers(Rebbecca) entry who arrived in America around the same period of time. She went by the name Braunstein or even Ritzler She evenually married a Jacob Cohen(Her 1rst marriage) and later on Israel Feld!

Re: Looking for the Grunfeld from Cluj who wrote a book #general

Mihai Grunfeld

Hi Marcel,
I worked with Ladislau Gyemant about ten years ago. He was excellent, but he might have retired and I don't know anyone else. 
Good luck,

Re: Warsaw pre-1939 districts: Orla str. and Kr #holocaust #warsaw

Michael Turnbull <corbie41@...>

Many thanks for this!
How far back do the owner directories go for Warsaw? Where can I access them?
Adolf Tarnower was born in district V/VI, Sygnatura 77 but his family in 1930 was at Orla str and in 1935 at Krolewska str 29A. He was an architect and businessman but I have not been able to find where he was living when his son Aleksandre was born on 20 Feb 1915. He had a sister also but I don't know her name yet.
I am searching for Aleksandre's Birth Record and perhaps also other forms of Identity document, such as a 
Familijna Ksiązka Legitymacyjna, or  “Metryka Urodzenia” or “Odpis Aktu Urodzenia”  or “Dowod Osobisty.

Re: Paul (Pinchas Natan) Sternschuss of Neuilly sur seine, near Paris. #france

Francoise Kraft

On Facebook You can find a Elise Sternschuss Sarfati living in Paris.You could send her a message .She might be of the same family. Good luck
Françoise KRAFT

searching KRAFT from HRUBIESCHOW (Poland) and ODESSA (Ukraine).   INDIS from ODESSA (Ukraine),BELTSY (Moldova) and  NIKOLAIEV KHMELNITSKY Podolia(Ukraine)

Re: Arolsen Archives search available online!! #holocaust

Richard Oppenheimer

The search feature at the Arolson Archives website is far from complete. If anyone wishes to get information from them, you really need to fill out an inquiry form  available on their website. I have used this method extensively for the last 10 years, but usually multiple requests are needed to get all the information you may need or want. I have visited the facility on several trips to Germany. The institute has undergone a major re-organization. The immense amount of records they have is far from being completely organized. The researcher that will help you fulfill your request is hindered by the incomplete organization of the stored records. That is why multiple requests is helpful, because chances are you will get a different research assistant who may locate  information that may have been missed by the previous research assistant. When I first visited Bad Aroloson, I was allowed to search the original documents. This is no longer possible, because of preservation concerns. This is by no means a criticism of their work, only an observation by someone who has extensively researched their holdings.

Town or village of Synorushko #names


Hello everyone, in any birth record Ï have seen the place Synorushko, where is it? Thank you

Jenya Kanadov

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